Highlights of 2014: Part 2

[Continued from here.]

July:

1. At the beginning of July, Javi and I celebrated our 1st anniversary with a really amazing day. I won’t recap since I wrote a whole entry about it. It was lovely though.

2. Towards the middle of the month, Javi’s sister Cora and her boyfriend Gabriel came to visit us. It was a great weekend full of touristy adventure: the Institute of Contemporary Art, eating seafood by the docks, the Omni theater at the Science museum, and the Aquarium. So much touristing. I’m bummed I can’t find some of the sweet pictures I know were taken that weekend.

3. At the end of July and into August, Javi and I took a trip to Puerto Rico and Cape Cod to spend time with our families.

Honorable Mention: I started watching Downton Abbey. Great decision.

August

1. My brother, Brendan, and Amy got engaged!!! At the Cape, in the Cape house, right before we all got there for the week. It was a full celebration when we were all down there.

10548299_10153041656484307_1120834649055321535_o (1)

2. By this point, the garden was in full swing! Katie had a lot of success too! Who woulda thought. I felt really proud of the progression and the fruit it bore!

3. We had a cookout at my parents’ house in Worcester with friends! A lot of my college friends had never seen my home before so I took the opportunity to invite some of them over for an end-of-summer cookout.

cookout

It’s grainy but at least if any of us go missing you have the picture for the milk carton.

Honorable Mention: The Ice Bucket Challenge swept the nation and raised a bunch of money for a great cause.

September

1. Things started up again: two more grad classes, work kicked it up a notch, and I began my fourth improv class. I really felt ready for all of this to happen. September always seems like a good months in terms of productivity. One tradition I have appreciated lately is the beginning of the year dinner at the Theological Institute. This was the beginning of my third year so it is the third one I’ve attended. My mom, Aunt Jo, Javi, Brendan, and Amy came to support me.

year 3 at tine

2. Javi and I went apple picking with Katie, Kevin, and Kev. This was special. I’ve got to give Katie some kudos for making it happen. She loves Fall and that really enhances the Falls of all those around her.

3. Amy asked me to be her Matron of Honor!!

happy

Honorable Mention: Javi and I went to the Boston stop on the Last Comic Standing tour! We watched all season and were psyched to get to see them live.

last comic standing

October

1. Katie and I were blessed with the opportunity to go to New York to see Ashlie in her 8th month of pregnancy. We helped her mother-in-law plan a baby shower in her honor and then spent the Columbus Day weekend celebrating with her and Josh!

2. I was fortunate enough to spend another day with my mom, aunts, and cousin celebrating the season of Fall. We began at my aunt’s by spoiled by homemade maple scones and homemade pumpkin spice lattes. She also gave us all mason jars of pumpkin spice granola. We continued the day with travels to an apple orchard, the lovely Nashoba winery, and a delicious lunch in the middle-of-nowhere Massachusetts. I am always so joyful to spend time with my family.

3. Halloween! I tried some really cool makeups this Halloween.

4. Javi and I spent a really lovely and romantic Fall day exploring a new apple orchard and the beautiful foliage surrounding it.

fall with javi

Honorable Mention: Jen and Tyler’s wedding! We got doooooown at that fiesta.

jenty

November

November is another one of those craaaazy months (along with May) because there are a lot of birthdays and a big holiday and we celebrate everything big!

1. Emilia and Jared’s wedding! Wow, what a weekend. We reunited with old friends, spend quality time with everyone, and dancedancedanced. The ceremony was holy and beautiful and the reception was swanky and way too cool for school because it was in a restaurant in the middle of Copley Square.

2. My dad’s surprise 60th birthday party! This was one of the most special days of the year. My dad always said he wanted a big 60th birthday party and my mom did an amazing job planning a surprise party that he never found out about until the right moment – he was totally surprised.

It was also my mom’s birthday and Javi’s birthday in the weeks following. We celebrated my mom’s birthday by going out to breakfast the day after the big party and we celebrated Javi’s birthday (which was on Thanksgiving) by getting friends together one night for dinner at one of his favorite restaurants.

3. JOHN PAUL STEWARD DILL WAS BORN!!! I cannot believe Ashlie and Josh made a human. So many congratulations for their beautiful son and for being the strongest woman ever through labor pains.

Tears of joy.

Tears of joy.

Honorable Mention: I got to join Amy on her first wedding dress shopping day! It was her mom, my mom, her maid of honor Molly, me, and Amy. It was a really special day. She is so beautiful!

December

December, not surprisingly, started to run me down. The winter settled in, my grad work was tough, and I just got tired. Nonetheless, blessings were still abundant, praise God.

1. We had a Yankee Swap at our apartment. We had about 20 people over (“fit em in!”) and it went really well. I think the highlight was Javi (who works for a Shutterfly-affiliated company) printed out all sorts of stuff with our friend Rich’s face on it. Stickers, a pad of paper, a placemat, a phone case, a traveler’s mug, you name it. When someone opened the big box, there was a slew of hilarity and confusion that swept over the room. Biggest yankee swap hit ever.

2. Things did wind down: I finished my fourth improv class with a really fun student showcase show. I put my head down and pushed forward at work to get everything tied up before the Christmas break and I had success there. School dug its heels in deep but I worked hard and passed everything in on time (praise God). This semester was challenging and I was grateful to feel good about the work I did and moving forward.

3. Christmas! Javi celebrated Christmas for the first time with my family in Worcester, which was really nice. It was a slower pace for him, no doubt (my family goes to bed around 11 while his stayed up until 5 am on Christmas Eve), but there was lots of joy. A few days after Christmas, we traveled down to Puerto Rico for the New Year! Goodness gracious, it is so good to celebrate the New Year in warm weather. There is a whole life to it that I never knew!

Honorable Mention: Serial finished up. Which is either a good thing or a bad thing, I can’t tell.

I can’t help but insert this here:

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” C.S. Lewis

What a beautiful year. I’m glad I put all of this in one place, although it is overwhelming to reflect upon. I’m trying to find some takeaway points…one seems to be that this year has been a time of finding myself. And a year of celebrating friends and family. Personally, I have been able to explore, learn and grow in many different ways. Relationally, I have been able to spend a lot of time with a lot of people who are very dear to me. I’m so grateful for that.

Before I go, I will say is that I am feeling stirrings of change. I’ve gone through some intense periods of growth this past year and it feels time to start taking some steps forward according to that growth. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I trust I’ll figure something out. January is a wonderful time for renewal and I plan on riding that wave.

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Hightlights of 2014: Part 1

My lovely friend Katie inspired me to take a moment and reflect on this past year. It’s so important to reflect, yet it is often the last thing I want to do. But I’m going to do it. And I’m going to realize all the wonderful things that have happened. And that is going to make my gloomy January happier. And happiness is good.

January

1. I began my first ever improv class. This was something I never thought I would do but I did it! The class was enriching, challenging, and funfunfun! The community at ImprovBoston is so warm and encouraging, it has certainly changed my life for the better.

2. One of the best things of my whole life happened. I was selected by the NBC ticket lottery to go see Saturday Night Live. Live. From New York.

The greatest email I have ever received.

The greatest email I have ever received.

Javi and I sat in the FOURTH ROW and watched the very talented Jonah Hill host a hilarious show. Also I saw Lorne Michaels. Also LEO SHOWED UP. AND MADE A TITANIC REFERENCE. After the speechlessness lifted, the first thing I did was ask Javi if we were dead because this is not something that happens in real life.

Leo and Jonah

Honorable mention: I signed up for the Ipsy GlamBag, a monthly goodie bag of makeup that arrives monthly. It made me very happy.

February

1. I took a trip with some of my best friends to celebrate the wonderful Katie and her upcoming nuptials a la bachelorette party in Las Vegas. I can’t believe it actually happened. It stated as a joke the year before and we made it happen.

2. Katie and I started our first home gardens at the end of the month. It was the beginning of an era. I think moments when you start something new are really special. One moment you’ve never grown anything, the next your a gardener. A great thought to keep with me through life, I think.

potting

Honorable Mention: ASHLIE GOT PREGNANT! Cue fireworks!

March

1. I took a “Charting Your Career Roadmap” course through the Center for Workplace Development at Harvard. It was very enlightening. I scored highest for a career in cosmetology and/or the performing arts. It made my life make a lot more sense (I have had a hard time finding a path that makes me super excited). I’m grateful I took it but I am still working on taking steps forward.

2. Paint Nite! With my mom, aunts, and cousin. It was my first one and it was a blast. Writing this makes me want to plan another one. In the moment we were hoping to do it every other month but when you really think about it, once a year is a perfectly good goal too.

paint night

Aunt Con decided to turn off the beaten path. I think Ralph Waldo Emerson would be proud.

Honorable Mention: The Oscars. I love the Oscars.

April 

I got to fly to PA for Katie’s bridal shower! It was the first time that I was able to see and explore her beautiful hometown and lovely childhood (seems strange to say) home. We had a really wonderful time. This reminds me that I still have to give her all those pictures I took…

katies bridal shower

Honorable Mention: Easter, of course.

May

May is always quite the month (birthdays, Mother’s Day, spring semester ending, etc). I’ll try to narrow this down to a few highlights…

1. For Mother’s Day, we had brunch for my parents, Brendan, Amy and Aunt JoJo at our apartment. The brunch was beautiful and lovely and I love brunch. Then we took my mom to the Symphony for a special event: They screened the Wizard of Oz as the Boston Pops played the soundtrack live. The Wizard of Oz is my mom’s favorite movie so it was really special. The weather was beautiful, everything was perfect, and after the show we went to Uno’s for dinner. It was one of the best days of the whole year.

It was very very sunny that day.

It was very very sunny that day.

2. Javi and I took a trip to Maine for my birthday weekend. It was soso special. We rented a cabin right on a lake. It smelled like a wood burning stove. It was the perfect weekend of relaxing and celebrating life. It’s always important to take time to reconnect and love each other in a marriage. I’m so glad this was one of the ways we did that.

3. KATIE AND KEVIN’S WEDDING! Wow, what a special time!! I was able to go for almost the whole week to reunite with best friends before the big day. It was an unforgettable time from the quiet days of bonding to the big rehearsal dinner with everyone to the grandfantastic wedding to the hotel afterwards to the trip to Philly the next day. Oy, what a highlight of the year!

Honorable Mention: Mass at St. Paul’s in Harvard Square to pray for a stop to the awful black mass. There was an overwhelming turnout and to say it was beautiful would be a great understatement.

June

June is always a gift. The weather is consistently warm and the days are long. The pace of life doesn’t necessary slow down but at least it feels easier.

1. I started my second improv class because the first one was a lot of fun and why stop the party?

2. Javi build a raised bed in our side yard so that we could plant in the beautiful sunshine.

Honorable Mention: We had a really great Father’s Day cookout in Worcester.

Some reflections:

One thing I didn’t mention was that I also took three more grad classes through this time. January through May was the first time I took two classes at a time and I think it worked out really well. It helped me to feel more connected to my program, which was a pleasant surprise, because I was spending more time there. Then starting at the end of May I began my first summer class. I didn’t love the three-hour long session but I got through. In May, I completed my second year!

The first thing that comes to my mind as I think about the past year is how fruitful it was. This was our first full year of marriage and I can tell you with 100% certainty that we lived it to the fullest. Javi and I did so many things, we saw so many people, we continued to build up our home and domestic life, we traveled quite a bit (Javi took two trips I didn’t mention to Las Vegas and LA), and I think we grew a lot as people. I’m not exactly sure how at this moment but I know we did (I think it takes more than 14 days post-New Year for things to sink in).

One thing I appreciate so much about this year is the balance I felt. With all things considered (my marriage, friends, family, work, school, and extracurriculars), I think the balance was kept very well – well, for most of the year. Things were more hectic towards the end. Overall, of course it wasn’t perfect and there were certain personal things that went on that I rather not publish, but it was full of blessings.

Taking Care

I am on a mission to take care of myself. I will phrase this entry only in terms of my own life but I think it will resonate with others (especially those gearing up to face the cold weather).

In the past couple years, I have been very actively trying to take better care of myself. I do not mean by dieting and/or exercising, but rather by being gentle, loving, and merciful with myself. Saying things like, “I can’t do everything,” and “I need to stay home tonight,” and “I just don’t want to and that’s okay” has become much more frequent in my vocabulary. And it’s been wonderful.

My personality lends itself to overextending very easily. I love everyone and everything and I want to be everywhere and do everything. Then I burn out, get tired, get sick and/or need to sit it out for a few days. Also, I get caught up in too many one-way roads and don’t feel enough love coming back towards me. I have reflected on this a lot and I’ve decided that I’d like to have more peace in my life. I’ve made some progress. First off, I decided that I don’t need to recalibrate in order to run at 100% all the time – no. Definitely not. Instead, I’ve decided that I need to take steps to help my brain understand that I cannot and should not run at 100% all the time. 90%, 50%, or 25% is plenty depending on the day. This attempt to rewire my expectations for myself has allowed me to better arrange my priorities and be at peace when I just can’t (#).

This mentality especially comes in handy in this time of year. We are in the season where the world is revving down to hibernate just as the holidays are revving up to celebrate. This is hard for me. My body is telling me to slow down but the responsibilities of my life are telling me to speed up. Well, here are a few things I’ve tried that have been helpful keeping the peace amongst the chaos:

1. I call out. I lead a busy life of work and extracurriculars and some weeks I just can’t keep up the pace. So I don’t. I call out of something and give myself the night off when I feel like it’s too much. It’s been healthy for my brain, body, and marriage.

2. I’m working on treating myself. I think psychologists call this “self-care”. Sometimes I need to overcome my constant Catholic guilt and just relax. I buy that latte or I watch that extra TV show or I put my PJs and let the dishes wait until tomorrow.  Surprisingly (although it’s not really that surprising when I think about it), treating myself helps me to feel happy, loved, and lends to my ability to put more energy into the things outside myself that matter most.

3. I try to make healthy decisions about how to spend my free time. Sometimes Javi and I plan to go on a date on Friday and the time comes and both of us are tired. Well, this can go either way – sometimes we decide that pushing through and getting out is the best thing to do and other times we decide to have a stay-in date night. Both can be delightful. Same goes for what type of socializing I am doing. Would I rather go to a big social event or just spend time with a small group at the apartment? We don’t always get a choice but when we do, this is an important question for mental health and happiness.

4. I’m planning ahead more – especially in busy seasons. This is a huge one for a procrastinator like me. I’m trying to buy presents far ahead of Christmas and online (thank God for Amazon Prime) so that I’m not caught up in the stress of shopping. I’m trying to plan ahead for Christmas events and carve out/protect time that Javi and I will spend together just appreciating the magic of the season. Whatever I can do ahead of time, I’m so grateful for later on. So much peace comes from this.

5. I’m trying to let the love in. In my relationships, I can’t initiate all the phone calls or make all the plans (although I love to initiate). There are times when I need to sit back and wait for friends to reach out to me. This allows for friendships to be two-way streets and it keeps me from overextending my heart, time, and energy. This is a hard one for me, yet it is necessary to achieve healthy relationships.

Finally, is this talk selfish? No. Not in the least. I am me. I can’t solely leave it up to my husband/family/friends to take care of me, need to love me and be kind to me and take care of me too. If I don’t treat myself well, how can I treat others well or call on others to treat me well? I have a responsibility to let in the love of others, and of God, in an active way.

So far, my progress in taking care of myself has done great things for me – and my marriage. I find the more I am able to be flexible with my schedule or plan things ahead of time or keep myself happy and healthy in general, the more I am whole and the more I am able to give to my husband. Who woulda thought!?

I hope that you can take good care of yourself as we enter into this new season. Happy November 🙂

Here we go again

Tis time for another blog, I think. Slash, I must. Here are a couple things about my life right now…

LIFE IS BUSY! Hello SEPTEMBER where all the events andthe responsibilities andthe needtodos come and fortunately coincide with the energy andthe motivation andthe i’mgunnadoit attitude. Truly, it is a special month. I’d like to thank the weather for being conducive to both happiness and productivity and Massachusetts for putting out those general “it’s still summer but also fall is great and coming soon” vibes. Also, one may ask (or may not, honestly I don’t know what one cares about), why is it so busy? WELL, working at a school where the classes are kicking up and going to a school where the classes are kicking up and while still trying to love my husband, family, and friends – amongst other things that need not be listedandlisted – makes for a busy moment. But, deep down, I love it. Busy is better for me.

In other news, THIS IS MY NEW MUG:

Beyonce Mug

 

Here is the progression of my thoughts when I look at it:
“Yeah! Yeah I do! I can do it! I can do anything! Who run the world…girls!!!!!!!”
3 seconds
“She probably gets up really early though. And she probably goes to bed pretty late. So the wording is probably inaccurate…”
2 seconds
“I mean, she also has like an entourage of stylists and dancers and trainers and psychologists and people to sing her to sleep…”
1 second
“Whatever! I AM BEYONCE!”

That’s all.
Sincerely,
Sarah Fierce

Then What? (How We Met, Part II)

Let the story continue. Part I (found here) left off with the moment that Javi and I first officially met. However, it took a bit more time before things progressed.

After the retreat, Javi and I went back to living our separate lives and dating other people and all that.

Then came the summer. I was asked to be one of two directors for the BUCC fall retreat and I gladly accepted. This meant the other director, Kev, and I would get to choose four people to be on the team with us. We had already chosen three (who said yes enthusiastically) and as we searched for a fourth, I remember Brother Sam suggested we pick Javi in a conversation that went a little like this:

Bro Sam: What about Javi?
Me: Who?
Bro Sam: Javi, you know, he’s in film and he started coming around last year…
Me: OH YEAH! That kid is cool! I’m trying to be friends with him!

And then I proceeded to track Javi down for the entire summer but was met with either silence or, “Oh, yeah, I will let you know soon,” and then more silence for 3 weeks. Good thing I am a diligent woman.

Finally at the end of summer, Javi and I had both moved into BU early (he was an RA and I was doing a volunteer program) and I saw him in the dining hall. I walked up to him and told him (politely) that I needed an answer soon. Now I realize that this was foreshadowing of my lack of patience being challenged by our relationship for the rest of time but I digress. Javi responded with a, “Oh yeah oh yeah… Yes! I will do it,” and that was that.

Javi tells me now that there was no way he wanted to be on a retreat team but when I asked him in person he felt he had no choice. We didn’t know each other and he didn’t want to come off as, well, we’ll say ‘a jerk’. 

Pick up the pace, Sarah. Okay, okay – fast forward. This is where things got a little more real in the Javi-Sarah friendship department. The retreat team bonded in a big way and Javi and we had many more paths-crossing moments because of it.

After the retreat, I broke up with my long-term high school boyfriend. This had nothing to do with Javi, it was just the right time. Post-break up, I had a lot more time to invest in my BU friends. Javi happened to be one of those friends. Slowly we started to get to know each other better and slowly our friendship grew (boring, perhaps, but the tortoise and the hare, people).

Post-retreat into spring was a key time for us individually. We both grew a lot as people. Javi hung out at the Catholic Center a lot more often and met a ton of new friends and I was investing more in the BU and CC communities and thriving. And our friendship grew. 

In February, Javi broke up with his long-term high school girlfriend. It was not because of me, it was just the right time. That was when things really started shifting for us. We had become good friends and this allowed us to become even better friends. And we did. We became best friends.

After four months of great friendship and realizing maybe it was more than friendship and for sure wanting it to be more than friendship and having discussions about what the deal was with the friendship and deciding it was still just friendship “at least for now” and waitingdiscerningwaiting… Javi asked me to be his girlfriend on June 27, 2010.

And three days later, or what seemed like an eternity to Javi, I said yes. Because what goes around comes around.*

And a few days after that we gathered with friends on the Esplanade to watch the 4th of July Spectacular and began our dating relationship with a bang.

Oh, and we were both over-the-moon ecstatic and without a doubt already in love (although saying it would come later). 

*It was not out of spite, I swear, it just worked out that way.

[Coming soon – Part III: Once again, then what?]

The First Day of the Rest of My Life (How We Met, Part I)

This is the story of how Javi and I first officially met. I would like to thank Ms. Grace over at Camp Patton for inspiring me to write this down.

Javi is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and I am originally from Worcester, Massachusetts which, in my opinion, means it was originally a long-shot we would ever meet let alone profess wedding vows to one another. But, alas, the universe and its mysterious ways.

Javi is a filmmaker and was drawn to Boston in order to study his craft. I am, uh, a person of many interests and I thought Boston was a cool place to do, uh, that. So by the decree of the Lord, we were both led to Boston University.

Two young bucks ready to take on the world, clearly.

Freshman year was not when our story began. Javi and I lived completely separate and different lives freshman year. He partied it up with his dormmates, explored the BU life and studiedworkedonwatched a lot of film. And dated his long-term girlfriend. I, although very extroverted, had a bit of a rough go that first semester and spent my days trying to find my place at BU and pining for my high school friends. And dated my long-term boyfriend.

The first half of sophomore year is also not when our story began, but seeds were a-sowin’. By this point, tables were turning for both of us. After freshman year, we both felt like something was missing – and before any “aww”-ing begins, I promise it’s a lot less vain than thinking we were each other’s missing pieces. I was actively trying to turn my freshman frown upside down by getting involved in things that actually made me happy (ie. not working in the sad and lonely financial aid office) and Javi was searching for a bit more meaningful way to spend his free time (aka, the partying was getting old).

Enter God and the Boston University Catholic Center.

The BU Catholic Center changed everything for both of us. For me, by sophomore year everything was coming up BUCC. I had gotten involved there the second semester of freshman year by going on a BUCC women’s spring break service trip to Mississippi and it was zero to 60 after that. The faith, the friends, the second family – please sir, can I have some more? For Javi, his love for the BUCC came a bit more gradually. He reached out to the CC on his own initiative but he had quite a few internal wrestling matches before he became a regular. In short, if it wasn’t for the patience and endurance of the ever-faithful campus minister Brother Patrick who met with Javi for a whole year and talked about nothing besides baseball, this story would be much different and probably end here. But, alas, I digress.

The second half of sophomore year is when our story begins. On a freezing February weekend in Billerica, Massachusetts, one Javier Andres and one Sarah Elizabeth attended a BUCC retreat and their paths crossed for the first official time.

There is no picture of the two of us but same shirts = same event.

Here are some highlights from that weekend:

I was asked to give a witness talk before confession on Saturday night and I gladly accepted. My witness centered around a concept I had only recently come across myself: chastity. I spoke about my own experience learning about saving sex for marriage, how it was transforming my life and how important confession was throughout that journey (if that sounds boring on paper, I promise you it wasn’t). Meanwhile, in the audience, Javi was struck by these ideas for the first time. When I gave that witness, little did I know my words were reaching my future spouse who was sitting right in front of me and as Javi listened, little did he know the girl giving the talk about saving herself for marriage was ultimately saving herself for him.

On Sunday, at the end of the retreat, the CC always has open mic time during which anyone can get up and talk about their experience from the weekend. Javi got up to speak. I have a poor memory but I remember this moment surprisingly clearly. I remember the way he held the mic and spoke with ease and confidence. It’s something you don’t see often, especially when someone gets up for the first time. That grabbed my attention. “This guy is cool,” I remember thinking, “I should know him.” It was small, just a friendly thing, but it was a distinct thought. I remember he talked about how he had argued with God up until the moment the retreat began about whether or not he should come. God won and he was glad He did. He cracked a couple jokes about the great time he had that weekend and that was that.

After open mic wrapped up and the group broke for lunch, I saw him talking to a group of people. I walked right up to the group, stuck my hand out toward him and said something like, “I’m Sarah, you’re cool.” (Who says girls aren’t direct?) Beyond that, my memory fades. Remember, we were both in long-term relationships and living separate lives so there wasn’t a whole lot more that could happen in that moment. As for the rest of that interaction, I’m fairly certain he was happy to meet me and then the people around him, also friends of mine, made some crack about me interrupting and life continued as it was.

Well, at least for most people there that day.

[Part II – Then What?]

And we’re back! For real.

Unless I write a simple blog entry to sum up what has been going on lately, I fear I will never return to write anything ever again. So simplicity shall reign! Here is what’s been going on lately…

Javi and I went to Puerto Rico and it felt like home. It’s amazing how quickly a place can become a second (third, fourth, fifth) home. Trujillo Alto, PR has certainly become one for me. I have been there four times now with Javi (1. To meet his family, 2. To get engaged, 3. For Christmas last year, 4. A few weeks ago) but every time we go back it feels as if we never left. Javi’s parents, younger sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents – every family member aside from two – live in Puerto Rico, mostly within a give or take 5-mile radius. They are all super tight-knit and loving and I’ve never felt more welcome into a family in my life. So it was a beautiful week visiting home. We traveled all over the island, ate many of delicious foods (like from a stand on the side of a mountain that was – surpise – delicious), relaxed with family and friends, danced all night at a wedding, etc etc etc – it was awesome and smooth and full of love and my mind only kind of still buzzes from trying to take in all the spanish. 

Javi and I then went to Cape Cod with the Doyle clan and friends. “Clan and friends” are key words here. This week was fantastic and it was in no small part thanks to the many folks who came to visit us and – announcement surprise – celebrate my brother and Amy’s engagement!!! It was certainly a week of celebrating. Celebrating a wedding on the horizon, celebrating being together for an extended period of time, celebrating family and friends who we don’t always get to see who came to visit – happy and joy all over the place. The Cape is a great spot because friends from nearby can easily come for one- or two-day vacations and join us for a bit. I mean, maybe I talked and laughed so much that I got a sore throat and a cough for 10 days but can we all say #worthit? Because it was.

Now that we’re back it’s taken longer to re-adjust than I thought it would (hence the topic of my last post and the time that has lapsed since then). There has still been a lot going on: picking up work again, I started my third improv class, we’ve had friends over 4 – 5 times in the last week (which I think is a record for us) and lots of social things (ie. RIP Robin Williams Movie Night and a day trip to Castle Island), finishing the 4th season of Downton Abbey and so on and so forth. It has all been wonderful though, it really has. 

Ahh, young married life in summertime, these are the days.